Category Archives: NC Voices

How to create better housing for people with mental health disabilities

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Hix will tell you, "I am the face of mental health"

In the last 10 years, multiple studies have concluded that housing people with mental health disabilities in adult and family care homes is not the best plan for them.  Each study has recommended phasing out use of the homes and improving the system. Despite that, the number of homes has increased along with the number of adults with mental illness who live in them.

 

This final installment of North Carolina Voices – Mental Health Disorder, surveys how North Carolina can address the housing needs of people with mental health disabilities, before the federal government forces the state to craft a solution.

You can listen to the story here:

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Story guest-edited by Cheryl Devall, news editor, Southern California Public Radio

Roadblocks to housing for people with mental illness in NC

WUNC - North Carolina Public Radio logoFor people with mental health disabilities, housing’s an intensely personal issue. Many want to live independently, some want to live with others. But mostly, what folks with mental health problems say they want is some choice in the matter. But housing is a political and economic issue too. Many factors prevent people with mental health disabilities from getting the housing they want… and need.

This installment of the series examines the political forces that have kept North Carolinians with mental health disabilities from moving out on their own.

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Story guest-edited by Cheryl Devall, news editor, Southern California Public Radio

Tennessee finds a way home for many with mental health disabilities

WUNC - North Carolina Public Radio logoAround the country, advocates have come to realize that one of the most important services for people with mental health disabilities is housing – and that most people with disabilities are able to live independently with some help. States have tried many strategies to create suitable housing options. Tennessee dedicates a small amount of state money every year to local groups that are succeeding pretty well.

Clinton Toy in front of his house

Clinton Toy stands in front of his newly renovated house in Nashville

For this third installment of North Carolina Voices, Mental Health Disorder I traveled to Tennessee to examine that state’s housing program, and to see what that it might teach North Carolina.

Listen to today’s story here:

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Story guest-edited by Cheryl Devall, news editor, Southern California Public Radio

What housing is available for people with mental health disabilities in NC?

WUNC - North Carolina Public Radio logoThis is the second in a five part series about housing in NC’s mental health system.

Thousands of people with mental health disabilities live in large adult care homes and in smaller family care homes in North Carolina. Advocates argue that many of these facilities are too institutional to truly help their residents integrate into the community. Now the federal government is investigating the state. Justice Department attorneys contend the state’s reliance on such facilities to house people with mental illness could violate federal law and Supreme Court rulings.

In this installment, I explored some of the housing options available for people with mental health disabilities. I visited a family care home, talked to someone who had lived in an adult care home (he lives in a group home now), and talk with someone whose sister lived in adult care homes for 14 years before getting her own apartment.

One question that kept coming up as I interviewed people… what constitutes a place being an ‘institution’? It turns out that the language of the law isn’t completely clear – is an adult care home an institution or not?

For many advocates, the definition of ‘institution’ comes down to this question: Would I want to live there?

People with disabilities they say they want some choice. Some, like Joanne Howell, say she likes living in a family care home. Others, like Josh, say an adult care home wasn’t for him.

You can listen to the story here:

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Story guest-edited by Cheryl Devall, news editor, Southern California Public Radio

What’s happening with housing for people with mental health disabilities in NC?

WUNC - North Carolina Public Radio logoThis story is the first in a five-part series on housing for people with mental health disabilities in the state.

Mental health reformers and state officials have repeated their intention to move people out of large institutions toward treatment options closer to home. But even as people have left hospitals, resources in the community have not kept pace.

That means in North Carolina, many people with mental health disabilities live in adult care homes designed for frail elderly people. Now the U S Justice Department is investigating this situation.

You can listen to today’s story here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Story guest-edited by Cheryl Devall, news editor, Southern California Public Radio